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Old Sun Aug 12, 2018, 02:37pm
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hearing aid

I saw a player wearing a wearing aid. A ref was thinking of asking her to take it off but did not. Any experience or advice to deal with this? It did not seem dangerous or hard but I don't know.
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Old Sun Aug 12, 2018, 02:48pm
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Pretty much anything that is medical, is allowed if it is not altered in any way. IF you are talking about the Bone Anchored Hearing Aid or similar device, I am allowing them to wear that all day, even if not told it was specifically allowed. I have seen players wear beanies or something like that to cover them up and I would not at all prevent someone wearing them if the purpose of the device is to allow them to hear.



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Old Sun Aug 12, 2018, 06:04pm
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Location: Connecticut
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Legality Of Equipment ...

3.5 SITUATION A: What are the standards which the referee must use in determining
whether a team member will be permitted to wear certain equipment?
RULING: The referee must rule on the legality of any piece of equipment which is
worn to protect an injury. Protective equipment must be individually inspected
and approved using the criteria outlined. There are three criteria which determine
the legality of equipment. First, any equipment which, in the judgment of the referee,
is dangerous to others.
In this respect, elbow, wrist, hand, finger or forearm
guards, casts or braces made of hard and unyielding leather, plaster, plastic,
metal or any other hard substance shall always be declared illegal “even though
covered with soft padding.” Thus, the rule does not permit that this provision be
set aside. The prohibition of the use of hard substance material does not apply to
the upper arm, or shoulder if the hard material is appropriately padded so that in
the judgment of the referee it is not hazardous to others. Knee and ankle braces
which are unaltered from the manufacturer’s original design are permitted and do
not require any additional padding/covering. Equipment which could cut or cause
an opponent to have an abrasion is also always illegal and, therefore, is prohibited.

It will be noted that the listing of equipment which is always illegal is not inclusive.
It cannot identify every item which is not permitted. The generalization is
required since the referee’s judgment is necessary. The second standard provides
that “any equipment which is unnatural and designed to increase the player’s
height or vertical reach, or to gain a competitive advantage, shall not be used.”

The referee is given no leeway here and judgment is not required. The third criterion
provides that equipment used must be appropriate for basketball and not
be confusing.
In this sense, gloves, football face masks and helmets are not
acceptable. A protector for a broken nose, even though made of hard material, is
permissible provided it is worn molded to the face with no protrusions. Eyeglass
protectors are considered appropriate equipment for basketball provided they
meet the qualifications for legal equipment, including the third criterion.
Religious and medical-alert medals are not considered jewelry and may be
worn provided: 1) religious medals are taped and worn under the uniform, necklaces/
bracelets must be removed or also taped and completely under the uniform;
and 2) medical-alert medals are taped to the body (portions may be visible to
show medical information), necklaces/bracelets must be removed or also completely
taped.
The state association may authorize exceptions to the playing rules to provide
reasonable accommodations to participants with disabilities and/or special needs
or other unique and extenuating circumstances. The accommodations should not
fundamentally alter the sport, create risk of injury to the student-athlete/others or
place opponents at a disadvantage.


In almost forty years of officiating, I have determined that several hearing aids were legal, including a cochlear implant, all with no prior authorization from the state association.

If allowing these medical devices is wrong, I don't want to be right (with apologies to Luther Ingram).

This past season I allowed my first transdermal pump.

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Last edited by BillyMac; Sun Aug 12, 2018 at 06:22pm.
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Old Sun Aug 12, 2018, 06:20pm
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I may be autistic, but I am also realistic. Let 'em play with the hearing aid!
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Old Sun Aug 12, 2018, 10:22pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillyMac View Post
[I]Equipment which could cut or cause
an opponent to have an abrasion is also always illegal and, therefore, is prohibited.
Technically, both pictures depict equipment which could cause an abrasion.

I certainly do not mind these types of things but i would think that players with them would also cover them when possible to prevent damage to said items/players. For the implants, a headband would suffice. A wristband could cover the transdermal item but then you get into the debate about a wristband being above the elbow, lol. Perhaps simply flexible tape, etc.
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Old Sun Aug 12, 2018, 10:27pm
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Guys Don't Make Passes ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by bucky View Post
Technically, both pictures depict equipment which could cause an abrasion.
Both have a smooth surface. No more dangerous than a pair of eyeglasses, which have been legal forever.



George Mikan (DePaul 1942-1946, NBA 1946-1956)

Now if the cochlear implant, or transdermal pump, was worn on the elbow, wrist, hand, finger, or forearm, that would be another story.

Worn on the head, or upper arm, no more dangerous than a pair of eyeglasses, legal (although we could debate about padding, or no padding, required).
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Last edited by BillyMac; Sun Aug 12, 2018 at 10:50pm.
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Old Mon Aug 13, 2018, 03:45pm
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Ask your state association. Some require a waiver for almost anything medical that's not specifically mentioned in the rules like knee braces and eyeglasses.
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Old Mon Aug 13, 2018, 04:01pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillyMac View Post
Both have a smooth surface. No more dangerous than a pair of eyeglasses, which have been legal forever.



George Mikan (DePaul 1942-1946, NBA 1946-1956)

Now if the cochlear implant, or transdermal pump, was worn on the elbow, wrist, hand, finger, or forearm, that would be another story.

Worn on the head, or upper arm, no more dangerous than a pair of eyeglasses, legal (although we could debate about padding, or no padding, required).
Correct however that is part of my point. Eyeglasses could cause an abrasion. Just about anything stuck/worn on the body could.
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Old Mon Aug 13, 2018, 04:18pm
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Probably Better To Be Safe Than Sorry ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by bob jerkins View Post
Ask your state association. Some require a waiver for almost anything medical that's not specifically mentioned in the rules like knee braces and eyeglasses.
3.5 SITUATION A describes the referee ruling on the legality of equipment, or the state association authorizing such. Both seem to be based on three criteria: not dangerous, no physical advantage, appropriate for basketball and not confusing.

So, by rule, who decides, the referee at the game site, or the state association, both basing their ruling on the same three criteria?

What's it gonna be boy? (Paradise by the Dashboard Light, Meat Loaf, 1977)

Obviously, the state association has the final say, both when reacting to situations presented by a coaches, officials, athletic directors, etc., or when being proactive, i.e., ruling in advance of such situations.

But the NFHS does give some authority to the referee at the game site.

Once again, "When in Rome ...".
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Last edited by BillyMac; Mon Aug 13, 2018 at 05:16pm.
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Old Mon Aug 13, 2018, 06:08pm
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Substitute the words "hearing aid" or "cochlea implants" or "insulin pump" for the words "eyeglasses" or "contact lenses". And handle the exact same way.

MTD, Sr.
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Old Mon Aug 13, 2018, 08:35pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillyMac View Post
3.5 SITUATION A describes the referee ruling on the legality of equipment, or the state association authorizing such. Both seem to be based on three criteria: not dangerous, no physical advantage, appropriate for basketball and not confusing.

So, by rule, who decides, the referee at the game site, or the state association, both basing their ruling on the same three criteria?
If the sate says that they need the letter, then that's the rule for that state. IL is one such state. It's in the on-line rules meetings.
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Old Mon Aug 13, 2018, 10:51pm
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The Prairie State ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by bob jenkins View Post
If the state says that they need the letter, then that's the rule for that state. IL is one such state.
Can't argue with that.

In regard to Illinois, are you specifically talking about hearing aids, cochlear implants, or transdermal pumps, or any, and all, medical devices?

How can a state association foresee, and be proactive, regarding every and all future medical devices that may show up on a basketball court? New medical technology comes out all the time, often at an exponential pace, especially medical devices linked to smartphones.

Does such a state association take away all the ruling authority of the referee on site?

Over the years I've only had one cochlear implant, one transdermal pump, and one prosthetic leg. As the referee on site, I ruled all three to be legal (based on the three criteria), but suggested that the coach or athletic director contact the state association for some type of written ruling. After each game I contacted my assignment commissioner, who acts as the liaison between officials, athletic directors, and the state association, as well as my local interpreter.

I've seen a few "concussion headbands" over that past few years, and treated them exactly like the medical devices above, until Connecticut ruled them to be legal with no color restrictions.

I've seen dozens of hearing aids over the years. We've always considered them to be legal. Of course, we have a private deaf school high school in our local assignment geographic area, but I have seen several in public high school games as well.
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Last edited by BillyMac; Mon Aug 13, 2018 at 11:14pm.
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